I'm using LaTeX for my day-to-day needs, but in order to avoid cargo-cult document creation, I'm trying to gain a better understanding of the TeX engine itself. As part of this I'm experimenting with TeX (i.e.
tex, and as opposed to LaTeX).
tex actually loads plain TeX. That's fine, but sometimes I find myself wondering if a command (I'm using the term in a loose sense here) is a primitive or a macro defined by plain TeX, so what I'd like to know is whether there is a way to run TeX that does not load
Having found this question I assumed that this could be done by using
virtex rather than
tex, but in my MiKTeX installation
virtex also loads
$ virtex This is TeX, Version 3.14159265 (MiKTeX 2.9.7250 64-bit) **\relax *\show\fmtname > \fmtname=macro: ->plain. <*> \show\fmtname ? x No pages of output. Transcript written on texput.log. $
So, am I doing something wrong (misunderstanding the exact purpose of
virtex, perhaps), or is this a bug in MiKTeX? And what can I do to tinker around with ,,primitive`` TeX, rather than (or in addition to) plain TeX?